The family at the heart of Happiness Falls is bi-racial, and the mother is from Korea. I wanted to do something that tied into their Korean heritage— and I love martinis. Thus, the KIMchi martini!
The idea for the Kimchi Martini came to me the day I got my second Covid vaccination. I really wanted a drink —I had a long and tiring day— but my friends said they read something about avoiding alcohol right after the vaccine. As I was pondering this, my mom texted, reminding me to have lots of kimchi for its natural health benefits. I thought, Aha! I can put kimchi in the martini to cancel out the alcohol! It was delicious, and it’s become one of my go-to drinks at home.
It’s easy to make; take your favorite dirty martini recipe, either gin or vodka—I’ve tried both, but I’m a vodka person— and substitute in kimchi juice in place of olive brine. Garnish with kimchi instead of olives. That’s it!
I prefer pickle kimchi (oi-sobagi or oi-kimchi) or cubed radish kimchi (kkakdugi), but the cabbage kimchi you can find in any grocery store is fine, too. I use whatever we happen to have in the refrigerator.
2 ½ oz. vodka
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. kimchi juice (see note)
Chill a martini glass (the glass should preferably chilled, although I usually forget to put it in the freezer!) Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake until well chilled, and pour through a strainer into a martini glass. Garnish with kimchi. Here's to your health!